Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium

NorCal Educators' Digest

Join the NorCal ELC Network and we’ll send you an email when each newsletter is available. Our newsletter is an information source for project activities, events, resources, school success stories, and hot topics for schools in the Shasta Region of 21CSLA.

NorCal Educator's Digest

October 2023

NorCal ELC --  Kicks Off Year 4!

On August 28th, 2023, the NorCal Educational Leadership Consortium (NorCal ELC) held its Orientation for the Local School Teams Program. Forty teams and about 200 participants were welcomed by Drs. Michael Kotar and Michael Gulbransen. The 2023-24 orientation was facilitated by Abeo School Change. Dr. Gulbransen shared the 21CSLA Equity Statement and NorCal ELC’s new four foundational pillars (competencies):

Gulbransen shared, “Whether you consider yourself a leader or not, if you’re part of NorCal ELC, you are a leader.”  At the end of the session, many participants responded to a feedback prompt, with terms that included: “now I am feeling: “inspired, hopeful, accomplished, excited, confident, motivated, and optimistic”.  

Then on August 30, NorCal ELC and the Center for Applied Policy in Education at UC Davis held the first session of our new 21CSLA Principals’ Collaborative Support Network, a community of practice that engages site administrators in collectively analyzing problem case studies through a consultancy model. Click here for more information.

We are off to a great start with wonderful educators. NorCal ELC expects 2023-24 to be its best yet.

Need UTK Information & Understanding?

NorCal ELC is collaborating with county offices of education to begin offering 21CSLA UTK Modules in the Shasta Geo Region. The first, Envisioning Equitable TK Classrooms in Action(Module 2) is in-person at Chico State on October 14, 9 am - 4 pm.

The 21CSLA State Center developed eight UTK information/training modules designed to assist in implementing California’s Pre-K policies. Modules are intended for school administrators, however, during the pilot phase, we saw that modules were valuable to early childhood and primary grade teachers, as well. Each module is six hours long. In-person training for a module can be completed in one day. Modules will also be offered in virtual formats over three 2-hour sessions. 

21CSLA UTK Module Titles:

  1. California’s Bold Pre-K Policy Aims
  2. Envisioning Equitable TK Classrooms in Action
  3. Supporting, Integrating, and Aligning Equitable TK Classrooms
  4. Continuous Improvement through Equitable P-3 Assessments
  5. Equitable TK Classrooms for Social-Emotional Development
  6. Equitable TK Classrooms through Inclusive Practices
  7. Family Engagement for High-Quality TK Experiences
  8. Inquiry through Play

Module descriptions can be viewed here.(opens in new window) 

NorCal TK/ECE Community of Practice

Join a community of practice designed for early childhood, TK, and other primary teachers and administrators as a place to network and talk about educational issues and services for young children. All sessions are via Zoom.

To join, register for our TK/ECE email list by accessing this Google Form.(opens in new window)

Do You Want to Specialize in UTK Leadership?

The 21CSLA State Center and UC Berkeley are offering the UTK Leadership Certificate. The certificate is two courses designed for PASC and CASC candidates and individuals who hold a CTC Certificate of Completion. Courses are offered without cost through 21CSLA, virtually via Zoom. Spring 2024 dates will be announced soon. 

Learn more about the UTK Leadership Certificate | 21CSLA.(opens in new window)

Other Ways to Participate in 21CSLA  Professional Learning

Inquiry Now | Equity Centered Instructional Leadership

In this 2-day instructional leadership-focused program, principal leaders, district leaders, and teachers explore the power and potential of inquiry-based instruction as a tool to promote and support a more equitable classroom learning environment, where students develop key practices to become critical thinkers. This workshop is facilitated by a team of educators from the California Subject Matter Project and the 21CSLA State Center and will be offered in the Shasta Geo Region later in the Spring 2024.

View upcoming workshops and events by 21CSLA offered to all CA Educational Leaders.(opens in new window)

Multigrade Teacher Community of Practice

Are you a teacher who teaches at least three grade levels simultaneously? The Multigrade Teacher Community of Practice is for you! This CoP is designed to support and build the network of this unique group of teachers in a series of sessions for 2023-2024. The Multigrade Teacher CoP is sponsored by the CA Rural Ed Network and 21CSLA.

Access the flyer for dates and to register.(opens in new window)

21CSLA Podcast - Equity Leadership Now!

A New 21CSLA Podcast for Equity Leaders Transforming Education. ELN! is from the Leadership Programs at the UC Berkeley School of Education and 21CSLA.

The first episode features ProfessorJabari Mahiri, chair of the 21st Century California School Leadership Academy (21CSLA) advisory board and the host of ELN!, interviewed byRobyn Ilten-Gee Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University.

ELN! hosts conversations with equity-conscious leaders from pre-K through university settings who transform structures and strategies for educating, particularly for those who are marginalized. We explore innovative ideas and compelling work of leaders who realize individual, social, and environmental justice at the intersection of research, policy, and practice—because our democracy depends on it. 

Listen now on:

Visit their ELC! Webpage to access their podcast episodes.(opens in new window)

Rising Up for Reading!

Project ARISE is a three-year project co-led by the Glenn County Office of Education, two other COEs, and several esteemed partner organizations.  Project ARISE has several facets that will bring reading expertise, training, and resources to North State educators at no cost.

Emily Green from Glenn County Office of Education, who is also a NorCal ELC participant, is leading Project ARISE for Glenn COE. Green shared that the project includes Contra Costa COE, San Diego COE, the Center for Whole-Child Education at  Arizona State University (formerly Turnaround for Children), The New Teacher Project (TNTP), the National Center for Intensive Intervention (NCII) and the Center for Learning, Neurodiversity and Wellness out of the University of LaVerne.   

This fall, the project launched with a series of workshops introducing the resources that have been developed. A primary component of Project ARISE is that the resources are being compiled as free modules that can be viewed asynchronously. Currently, five modules are published and have content that engages eduators with:

  • Executive functions
  • Research-informed best practices for reading instruction
  • A process for intensive intervention

Green is coaching teachers at several school sites in Glenn County as they view the modules and then discuss how to put them into practice. One site in Glenn also has a NorCal ELC team focusing on improvement in literacy as their NorCal ELC  2023-24 problem of practice. Green shared that teams can access and use the modules in several different ways, noting that the modules, combined, take about 30 hours to complete.  More professional learning will be developed and shared in the spring and Green will keep us informed as the project evolves and opportunities arise for NorCal educators to learn. 

Access Project ARISE and its learning modules.(opens in new window)

If you have any questions about Project ARISE, contact Emily Green at

PACE Report on Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here whether we are ready or not. Wondering how to handle it?  Check out this new resource, “Putting Districts in the AI Driver’s Seat”: 

Districts need to figure out both how to leverage AI for their own uses and how to prepare students for an AI-infused world, or their students will not be ready for a future that is rapidly arriving. To do this, districts need to take a more proactive role in navigating education in this new era of AI.”

Want more on AI? California Educators Together(opens in new window) has a designated group: 

AI4CA - Artificial Intelligence for California

The AI4CA - Artificial Intelligence for California statewide initiative group is open to classroom teachers, grade level cohorts, content coordinators, and instructional leaders to exchange ideas and resources focused on topics related to the topic of AI in K-12 education.

Need Asynchronous Professional Development for Your Educators?

Do you have new staff? New challenges? Need training for educators?   Through December 2023 IRIS Professional Development (PD) Certificates will remain free.  Now educators can access practical, flexible, asynchronous modules, built around trustworthy resources, ranging from 1-3 hours, and provide IRIS PD Certificates for Educators to support confirmation of completion. These modules can support the full range of educators, including:

  • K–12 general and special education teachers
  • Principals
  • Paraeducators
  • Substitutes
  • Other school support staff (e.g., bus drivers, hallway/cafeteria/playground monitors)

Self-guided and self-paced, the modules cover numerous relevant topics “in a way that is in-depth but approachable”. Examples of modules that can improve educator’s knowledge include:

  • Evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices
  • IEPs
  • Accommodations
  • Teaching English language learners
  • Instructional supports for students with disabilities

Explore all the PD modules and other resources here(opens in new window).

Educators will need to create an account and then can access the modules. Want to know more about the IRIS Center? “Supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and located at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, the IRIS Center develops and disseminates free, engaging online resources about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices to support the education of all students, particularly struggling learners and those with disabilities.” 

Check out the PD Certificate for Educators webpage.(opens in new window)